Over the weekend I continued my exploration of Linux thin clients.
Now that I had a proof-on-concept system working, I spent my computer time using the thin client, to see if there was anything to observe from "real life" use.
The performance was perfect. I could not perceive any lag time compared to sitting directly at my server computer.
The memory usage was also impressively low. I ran a second KDE desktop on the server, and the system reported "42% memory free", and I have only 256 Megs of memory!
Sharing the 700 Mhz CPU also seemed to be no problem. I could launch an application on the server, switch to the client and continue to work without a slow down.
With a server with "real" specs, I could see how a single machine could comfortably run a whole lab of computers.
Finally, I decided to compare the boot times of the server and the thin client.
The server took 3 minutes to boot to the graphical login screen, while the thin client took only one minute. Another win for thin client users!
I also appreciated the absolute silence of my thin client. There was no hard drive to whir in the pizza-box sized machine, and no fan to run because of the lower power and processor requirements. A totally quiet computer was easy to adjust to!